ELLSWORTH — An unprecedented rise in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) among babies and toddlers in Maine has created what Maine pediatricians are describing as a “significant strain” on pediatric inpatient capacity across the region. RSV symptoms are similar to the common cold but can potentially create breathing problems for the youngest.

At a news conference last Friday, health experts from MaineHealth and Northern Light Health asked the public to remain vigilant in protecting themselves against respiratory illness.

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